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Think global, act local this Christmas

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LOCAL residents Joan Phelan and Judith Gradwell are hosting a Fairtrade Christmas Gift sale on Saturday 12th December.

It will take place at their home at 3A Place Road which is just off Melksham Market Place, between 10am and 4pm. It will be an opportunity to buy some lovely presents whilst raising money for refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Joan said, “I visited Lesbos a few weeks ago and the sheer desperation of the refugees is just awful. The weather is getting worse and people are going to die if something isn’t done. Every penny we raise is important to helping these people.”

Judith said, “Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries.

“Producers also receive a Fairtrade premium which is paid in addition to the Fairtrade price and is used to improve their communities.

“Projects typically support education, health care, investment in farming to improve quality, and processing facilities to increase income.”

You may have met Judith and Joan at the Melksham Food festivals where they always have a stall of Fairtrade produce imported from Palestine by Zaytoun, a community interest company.

On Saturday, as well as the olive oil, dates, almonds, soap etc. they will have items of embroidery from a women’s cooperative in Hebron.

They will be joined by various Fairtrade supporters including Dilton Marsh and Calne, who will bring   their large selection of gifts from around the world. These are sourced from Traidcraft and include jewellery, toys, confectionary and clothing.

A few of these items can be bought in Oxfam shops but most  are normally only available by mail order. So this is a great chance to see before you buy and save on postage.

Also on sale will be lovely handmade cards from Cameroon which will be coming via Bradford–on –Avon.

All the volunteers who are helping to organise this event hope to  see you. But whenever and wherever you shop they urge you to look out for the Fairtrade Foundation mark.

Refreshments will also be available. For more information call 708021.